Halloween just isn’t Halloween without scary movies. And luckily, the good people at HOME are serving up a platter of terrifying treats for their FilmFear season.
Beginning on 29th Oct and running until 3rd November, the fourth annual FilmFear season is even bigger than last year’s programme. It includes six days of sneak previews, a smattering of extreme cinema and a trio of classic horrors.
The season will also include a one-man show from filmmaker Daniel Cockburn, called How Not To Watch A Movie or All The Mistakes I’ve Made, Part 2. The show begins as a look at ’90s horror films before spinning off into an autobiographical journey full of film references, over-interpretation and paranoia.
Elsewhere in the programme, fans of classic horror can look forward to a trio of eclectic screenings: Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man (1973); Werner Herzog’s take on Nosferatu (1979) starring Klaus Kinski; and William Castle’s 1959 classic The Tingler, in which Vincent Price captures a parasitic creature that grows when fear grips its host.
Castle was renowned for his gimmicks, and in the 1950s, he had cinema seats specially equipped with hidden buzzers that would vibrate whenever the creature appeared.
There’s no word yet on whether or not HOME will be recreating this effect, but it would be awesome if they did.
There’s also horror fun for younger fans with the programme’s ‘bring the family’ screening of The Witches. Fair warning, though – it’s based on a Roald Dahl story so still very scary, and parents of young children should probably brace themselves for nightmares.
The programme also features a quartet of modern European horror films, including: Ghost Town Anthology, a French ghost story about a haunted Quebecois town; unsettling Belgian body horror All the Gods in the Sky – directed by the gloriously named Quarxx – about a factory worker going to extreme lengths to protect his disabled sister; intense Polish drama Tower. A Bright Day, in which a family reunion between two sisters turns increasingly sinister; and Luz, a bizarre Spanish-German co-production about a female taxi driver possessed by a demon.
Also screening with Luz is Ruth Paxton’s Be Still My Beating Heart, a short film about a woman who believes her heartbeat is too loud, starring Manchester’s own Maxine Peake.
Five horror previews to look out for:
The FilmFear season kicks off with this opening night special preview of new film The Lighthouse, the eagerly anticipated second feature from Robert Eggers, following his superb folk horror debut The Witch.
Shot in atmospheric black and white, the film stars Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe as a pair of 1890s lighthouse keepers battling the elements, isolation, inner demons and possibly some form of mythical supernatural force during a four-week posting on a rocky Maine island.
Tuesday 29th October, 6pm.
The Dead Centre
Billy Senese directs this 2019 spooky hospital tale about a psychiatrist (cult director Shane Carruth) whose sanity is pushed to the edge when an amnesiac patient insists that not only has he died and come back to life, but he’s also brought something terrible with him from the other side.
The trailer for this is creepy enough on its own, so expect plenty of chills from this dark, scary mystery thriller.
Wednesday 30th October, 6.30pm.
Set 40 years after the events of The Shining, Doctor Sleep stars Ewan McGregor as a now grown-up Danny Torrance, who encounters supernatural forces when he tries to protect a young girl with similar powers to his.
Based on the novel by Stephen King, Doctor Sleep is directed by acclaimed horror talent Mike Flanagan, who made Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House. Colour us excited.
Thursday 31st October, 7.55pm.
Come to Daddy
Elijah Wood stars as a young man who accepts an invitation to meet his estranged father at a remote location, only for things to quickly spiral into shocking violence in this unpredictable black comedy from Ant Timpson, producer of The Greasy Strangler.
A gory, smartly scripted treat, with Wood on top form and a terrific supporting performances from the likes of Stephen McHattie, Michael Smiley and Martin Donovan.
Friday 1st November, 6.40pm.
Daniel Isn’t Real
Miles Robbins (son of Tim) plays a troubled college student whose imaginary friend from childhood (Patrick Schwarzenegger, son of Arnold) returns in this stylish and chilling horror from director Adam Egypt Mortimer.
The two leads deliver terrific performances and the film is consistently surprising, taking a series of increasingly dark turns and going to some decidedly unexpected places.
Saturday 2nd November, 8.40pm.
The FilmFear season runs at HOME from 29th October until 3rd November.